Georgia Tech picked up its second commit of the day at the A-back position in Dontae Smith of Columbia, TN. If that town sounds familiar it should, as it is the home of former Tech great and Super Bowl Champion Shaq Mason. In fact, the two are cousins. Shaq took to Twitter to congratulate Dontae.
Welcome To The Family Lil Bro!!!! 931 Product. #TogetherWeSwarm https://t.co/nyK8aYCUPi— Shaq Mason (@ShaqDiesel_70) June 22, 2017
Smith had previously camped at Georgia Tech at the beginning of the month, and performed well. With one spot left at the A-back position, he jumped at his chance to become a Yellow Jacket.
Smith is a 3-star recruit per 247Composite and a 2-star per rivals. His only other Power 5 offer is Syracuse, but he has a handful of G5 offers, including Tulane, Temple, and Memphis.
Smith operates out of a pistol set in his high school offense, where he is the feature back and is clearly the best athlete on the field. He has burst and good top end speed. With differing levels of competition, it is sometimes difficult to determine just how fast a certain prospect is, but if he’s blowing by guys who appear to have the angle on him, that means he’s probably the fastest player his opponents have seen, and that’s a good sign. Smith also has exceptionally quick feet that allow him to make subtle moves that are devastating to defenders in space.
Smith’s biggest trait is perhaps his ability to bend. His stride is smooth, as are his cuts, and he does an exceptional job of maintaining his balance and clearing his feet against low defenders. The importance of this trait cannot be overstated for A-backs who, ideally, will be running past defenders who are already on the ground.
He lacks power, and there is no film of him blocking or catching passes, but technique can be taught and he will gain mass in a college strength and conditioning program. Hopefully he can do so without losing too much of that sweet speed.
What to Expect
Smith is a good fit for the A-back position and will be another underrated pickup at the position. He’ll likely need a redshirt year to develop, but most A-backs do. Expect him to see the field around the time Clinton Lynch and Qua Searcy graduate.
Coach McCollum has been doing work in Tennessee over the course of the last 2 recruiting cycles, a very promising trend.